CHICAGO, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Hollywood actor Tom Hanks said he is one of 26 million Americans with type 2 diabetes who must take care to avoid tooth loss, blindness and kidney failure.
A recent study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association found 1-in-5 cases of total tooth loss in the United States could be linked to diabetes.
When it comes to diabetes and dental health, research suggested a patient with diabetes has a lower resistance to infection. That, coupled with a longer healing process, made a person with diabetes more susceptible to developing more severe and more frequent bouts of gum disease, the researchers said.
A dentist can be a valuable member of a patient's diabetes healthcare team to help the patient check for the signs of gum disease and provide tips on how to keep their mouth healthy, said Lydia Hall of the American Dental Association.